With the offseason well underway, the Jets have continued to sign some guys that Jets fans might not know too much about. I'll be taking a closer look at each of the new signings and trying to assess what they can bring to the table for the Jets in 2013. Today, I take a look at running back Chris Ivory.

Click the BGA link at the top of the page to look back at some of the scouting work I've done on some of the other signings the Jets have made since the end of the season.

Ivory is a big back, standing 6-0 and tipping the scales at 222 pounds. He was an undrafted small school prospect out of Tiffin, but made an immediate impact with the Saints, rushing for over 700 yards and five touchdowns. However, he found it difficult to get many opportunities over the past few seasons and was traded to the Jets for a fourth round pick in this year's draft. Ivory signed a three-year extension with the Jets, worth $6m, although that could rise to as much as $10m if he meets certain performance targets.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking in detail at what he could provide the Jets with this year and going forward.

Who is Chris Ivory?

Ivory started off at Washington State, where he rushed for 534 yards and four touchdowns in 22 games, at an average of 5.9 yards per carry. Injuries and coaching changes left him further down the depth chart than he would have liked and he was eventually kicked off the team for violating team rules. After transferring to Division II Tiffin, he was averaging 5.7 yards per carry over his first five games until suffering a season ending knee injury. After he ran a 4.48 at his Pro Day, adding a 36-inch vertical and a 119-inch broad jump, Ivory was undrafted, but signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent.

Ivory had a breakout game in week six of his rookie year, as injuries allowed him to get an opportunity and he gained 158 yards. He led the team in rushing, but suffered a foot injury in the final game of the regular season and missed the playoffs. The same injury caused Ivory to be placed on the PUP list when the Saints camp opened in 2011 and he remained there until midseason, although there was a suggestion that he could have returned much sooner and the Saints (having just drafted Mark Ingram in the first round) were using the PUP list to preserve a roster spot. When he returned to the lineup, he again played well, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and highlighting his season with a 127-yard, one touchdown effort against the Panthers. In 2012, he again found it difficult to get many opportunities, averaging over five yards per carry, but only carrying the ball 40 times in six games. Ivory has always been productive when given an opportunity, but has seen his playing time reduce in each of the past two seasons.

Let's look at Ivory's numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Three seasons

24 games

Eight starts

256 carries, 1,307 yards, eight touchdowns (5.1 ypc)

Three catches, 32 yards

67% catch rate (including preseason games)

Four career fumbles (none since 2010)

58 broken tackles, including one as a receiver

No penalties committed

Eight 20+ yard runs

Two 40+ yard runs

No pressure surrendered in 26 pass block snaps

I'm going to take a slightly different approach this time and look in detail at his performance in a variety of different categories:

Usage - Ivory basically always lined up as a tailback, directly behind the quarterback. The only times he didn't were in the victory formation and once where he motioned out wide in his rookie season. When he was in the game, the Saints ran the ball approximately two-thirds of the time. When they did throw with him in the game, he stayed in to block just under a quarter of the time.

Running Ability - I don't really need to go into much detail about Ivory's running style as most Jets fans will by now have seen the highlights. Ivory's running style is impressive to watch and his numbers for breaking tackles and yards after contact are among the best in the NFL. He displays vision and burst, can turn the corner and run away from defensive backs and doesn't hesitate. He often displayed this on stretch/zone style running plays which are expected to become a staple of Marty Mornhinweg's offense.

I'll let you judge for yourself - here's a good highlight reel from 2010 and here's another from 2012. For completeness, go here to see his touchdown from 2011.

The consensus seems to be that Ivory can run the ball extremely effectively, but there is concern over his ability to do other things that will be required of him in the Jets offense, so I'm going to focus in more detail on some of these.

Pass Protection - It's good to note that Ivory hasn't surrendered any pressure, but the fact he's only stayed in to block 26 times in three years could give rise to concern that the number is so low because they don't trust him to do it. It's not a scheme thing, because the Saints do leave their backs in to block pretty regularly. However, in terms of the percentage of time spent staying in to block, he's not that far behind some of their other backs, so I don't think that's a situation they actively avoided - although perhaps if they had more confidence in him, his overall playing time would have increased.

Based on the evidence from the film, it's difficult to fault him in pass protection. There was one play where he had to pick up an outside rush and he didn't get over in time, but he still was able to get enough of his man to force him wide so Brees was still able to get off the throw without being pressured and there was one other play where he was double teaming with the left tackle and the defensive end split them, although he tripped as he did so and again was unable to put pressure on Brees. Other than that, he was pretty flawless. Granted, some of these pass protection assignments were straightforward - double teaming on a tackle's man or getting wide to force a pass rusher back inside where a tackle could pick him up. There were a handful of individual blitz pickups though, including one where he read the cornerback coming off the edge and got across in plenty of time to allow Brees to make a first down throw to that man's side. In such situations, he never blocked the wrong guy and he wasn't driven off his spot as backs often are in that situation. He also showed a decent ability to make a cut-block on the edge following a fake handoff, something the Saints often did, including several times in the red zone for touchdowns. Here's one example.

Receiving Threat - One of the main concerns about Ivory joining the Jets is that he only has three career catches and running backs in West Coast style schemes like the one the Jets are expected to run often need to be good pass catchers. Ivory does have another three catches in preseason games and did have 22 catches in college (including 13 at WSU in 2007), so while there isn't much to be going on, he does have some experience catching the ball. By way of a comparison, Shonn Greene caught just 11 passes in college and struggled at first in the NFL to make an impact as a pass catcher.

When Ivory does catch the ball, he's so good in space that he does represent a decent threat. Five of his six catches in the professional ranks went for at least nine yards, including the spectacular 76-yard touchdown you'll have seen if you watched the 2010 highlight reel linked to above. All of them were on swing passes to the flat, apart from one where he caught a dump-off underneath and broke two tackles to gain 15.

His low numbers are mainly just a product of them just not throwing to him. Watching footage of those plays on which he ran a route, some saw the quarterback make a quick throw before he'd even looked back for the ball, some saw him tracked into the flat by a defender and some simply saw Brees take a downfield option instead - including this one, which probably would have been a 50-yard gain had the ball been checked down to Ivory in the left flat.

Hands - Ivory doesn't have any dropped catches in the NFL - in fact there have only been three passes thrown to him (including preseason) that weren't caught. One of those three was essentially a throw-away as the quarterback was about to be sacked and threw it at Ivory's feet. Another was a horrible Brees pass that was almost intercepted by DT Jurrell Casey dropping into the flat. The last one was a costly error by Ivory, although this was more of a technical issue than a sign that he has bad hands. Brees was looking to throw downfield, but instead checked down to Ivory who turned the wrong way to look at the ball and then had to try and snag the ball behind him one-handed. It ended up being tipped into the air and intercepted, as you can see here.

That's really the only example of poor technique as a receiver based on Ivory's professional career to date and would hopefully be something that can be fixed. Pass catching is apparently a weakness of his, because the announcers were talking about some of his struggles in practice, but the fact that Ivory has done his job in an area where he isn't naturally talented is perhaps a good sign of the kind of dedication he has.

Fumbles - Fumbles started off as a concern for Ivory, as they often do for NFL rookies, when he had three in four weeks early in his career. However, he only had one more in his rookie season and since then has handled the ball 167 times in the NFL without a fumble. He did fumble once in preseason in 2012 - his only preseason fumble - although that was on kind of a freak play as he was stumbling and reaching for extra yardage and got his bell rung. Of his four fumbles as a rookie, three came as he was hit at the line of scrimmage and only one of these was recovered by the defense. His fourth came on another freak play as he ran for 13 yards, but was then upended at the end of the run and the ball slipped out of his hands in mid-air. Looking at some of the 2012 highlights, he does seem to be protecting the ball well.

Short Yardage - You'd expect Ivory, given his strength, vision and tackle-breaking abilities to be excellent in short yardage. Looking at plays where Ivory ran the ball on 3rd or 4th and less than three, or inside the two yard line, his success rate for 2010 was 69% and for 2011 was just 59%. By comparison, when I scouted Lex Hilliard, I calculated his success rate in short yardage situations as 80%. However, based on stats from Football Outsiders, the NFL average success rate on short yardage plays this year was 63% so maybe Ivory didn't fare too badly. The Saints success rate was 68% in 2010 and 65% in 2011, so he fits in reasonably well with that.

Interestingly, he didn't get any short yardage carries at all in 2012.

Special Teams - Ivory doesn't seem to have made any special teams contributions so far in his career, although he did do some kick returning while in college.

Instincts - As noted, Ivory has good vision and makes good reads in the running game, not just in terms of hitting the right gap, but also down the field. He also seemed to make the right choices in his limited opportunities as a pass protector.

Attitude - Ivory plays hard, runs with a purpose and is known to be a hard worker. I didn't see any examples of him getting into it with teammates or opponents. It's a good sign that he has never been flagged for a penalty, although I admit to being concerned that he might fall foul of the new rules which outlaw runners using the crown of their helmet as a weapon. Having looked back at some of the highlights though, when Ivory lowers his head, he still tends to lead with the shoulder pad, so hopefully should be compliant with the new rules, unless they are applied incorrectly.

Injuries - This is definitely a concern, although Ivory's injury problems may have been somewhat overblown. Although he's only played in 24 games in three seasons, plenty of the games he missed were simply because he was inactive due to the Saints' log-jam at the running back position and it's feasible to suggest that he could have played in some of those games where he was listed as out with an injury - especially those where he was on the PUP list.

In 2012, he was actually healthy all year, until having some issues with a hamstring problem that caused him to miss three games down the stretch, although he was only actually listed as "out" once. Once returning from the PUP list in 2011, he was healthy the rest of the way, only appearing on the injury list once, as questionable with another hamstring issue in week 10. Finally, in 2010, he was actually on the injury list for most of the season with a variety of ailments. However, after missing the first two games with a knee injury, he was listed as probable every week until week 15, so he was available for most of the year.

He did also have a few minor issues at WSU and saw his senior year at Tiffin cut short because of a knee injury, so it will be important for him to stay on the field and make the most of his opportunity to break out.

Conclusions

It's obvious that Ivory has a lot of talent and although some people have suggested he might not be a good fit for a West Coast offense due to his lack of contributions in the passing game, I actually see him as a particularly good fit for what they use the backs for in Marty Mornhinweg's offense. Ivory is excellent in space and can win one on one matchups with speed or with power and those are the types of situations this offense aims to create for him.

If Ivory can improve his contributions as a pass catcher and blocker, then he could become a three-down back in this system, but the Jets have a couple of other options they can throw out there at the running back position, so that's not necessarily essential. It would help his effectiveness though, if he can become a little less one-dimensional.

For the Jets to get good value for the fourth round pick they gave up for Ivory, he'll need to remain healthy. However, if he can do that, I have a lot of confidence in his ability to produce at a high level.

We'll be looking at Stephen Peterman next...

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double
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Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) blocks Miami Dolphins linebacker Vince Biegel (47) during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) (Darron Cummings/AP)
Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) blocks Miami Dolphins linebacker Vince Biegel (47) during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) (Darron Cummings/AP)

The Jets' offensive line was more than in-flux during the 2019 season. 

Injuries and below average play plagued the Jets throughout the year. That made just about everything that much more difficult for quarterback Sam Darnold, head coach Adam Gase and the rest of Gang Green's offense. 

While the Jets could use the 2020 NFL Draft to fix their offensive line, Pro Football Focus thinks they should get a head start in free agency with a big name.

Tags: Kelvin Beachum
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Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't a banner year for the Jets in terms of the their rookie picks in 2019. 

Still, Pro Football Focus didn't rank the newest Jets players last season that badly, slotting the group in as the 20th best rookie class in the NFL last season. 

That ranked as the best rookie class in the AFC East, at least.

Tags: Quinnen Williams
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Oct 28, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton (73) lines up during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Oct 28, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton (73) lines up during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

As the 2020 NFL Draft gets closer by the day, mock drafts from respected experts continue to come out. This time, it's NFL.com's Bucky Brooks giving his first edition. 

Brooks, a former NFL return specialist, has been one of NFL.com and NFL Network's top draft analysts. And after doing his first evaluation of the top prospects, he believes that Jets GM Joe Douglas will find himself a new left tackle to work with in Louisville's Mekhi Becton at No. 11 overall. 

"Ultra-athletic edge blocker with the size, length and skill to blossom into an elite NFL offensive tackle," Brooks said about Becton. 

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Scott Thompson
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Matt Peart (Vasha Hunt)
Matt Peart (Vasha Hunt)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Despite several players having dropped out, the teams on hand -- including the Jets -- had plenty of top draft prospects to evaluate in Saturday afternoon's Senior Bowl game.

While Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert won the MVP award, the Jets aren't currently in the market for a starting quarterback. However, let's recap some of the performances from players who could fill a potential need...

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In his second season in the NFL, Jets QB Sam Darnold was on a rollercoaster. He dealt with mono just as the season started, and as he made his way back, he even played through a thumb injury.

It was a strong second-half finish for the Jets, which showed great development from the USC product. Darnold reflected on that and much more with SNY's Jeane Coakley while meeting fans at Jets House...

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Jan 25, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (33) during AFC Practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 25, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (33) during AFC Practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

During Pro Bowl practice on Saturday, some players around the league were asked their thoughts on Jets safety Jamal Adams.

Their answers? All praise for the LSU product.

"If I had the control to pick one player that I could play with again, it would be him," Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White said to Ethan Greenberg. "Just the energy he brings to the field, the way that he plays the game, you have no choice but to respect it. He plays the game the way you it to be played. He plays hard. He's going to give you his best effort each and every snap, each and every practice. He's probably one of my favorite teammates ever. We still talk to this day, often we text back and forth during the season. We got a real brotherhood, he's one of my favorite people."

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The annual Jets House was held this weekend, bringing fans together with members of the team to meet and mingle, and SNY's Jeane Coakley was there to cover it. 

C.J. Mosley took the time out to speak with Coakley on how he's doing since having surgery six weeks ago, how he feels the Jets defense did this season with him on the sidelines for the most part, and who he likes in the Super Bowl.

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

On the same day that Eli Manning retired from the game of football after a 16-year career with the Giants, another star New York quarterback sang some high praises for the two-time Super Bowl champion.

Joe Namath, who played 12 seasons in New York with the Jets and brought the city it's first Super Bowl back in 1969, believes that Manning might just be the best quarterback to ever play here.

"I was pretty good and did some things. Eli, I marveled at. He was remarkable," Namath told The Post Friday morning. "I wouldn't compare myself to Eli. He's done far more than I ever did on the field."

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CeeDee Lamb/Jerry Jeudy
CeeDee Lamb/Jerry Jeudy

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Among draft experts, there is a great debate about which wide receiver is the best in this year's NFL Draft. And that debate revolves around Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb.

Both receivers check off all the boxes evaluators and coaches alike look for. Whether its top-notch speed, route-running, ball-tracking, or sturdy hands, Jeudy and Lamb possess the attributes necessary to translate their stellar college careers into NFL careers as No. 1 receivers. 

And the Jets could definitely use one of those for Sam Darnold

Tags: Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Jan 21, 2020; Mobile, Alabama, USA; North outside linebacker Zack Baun of Wisconsin (56) works around North tight end Sean McKeon of Michigan (86) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports (Vasha Hunt)
Jan 21, 2020; Mobile, Alabama, USA; North outside linebacker Zack Baun of Wisconsin (56) works around North tight end Sean McKeon of Michigan (86) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports (Vasha Hunt)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

This Saturday afternoon will be one of the highlights of the offseason as the Senior Bowl takes place in Mobile, Alabama.

Jets scouts, coaches and front office personnel have been on hand to pay close attention to practice during the week, which is viewed as one of the most important events in the pre-draft process.

Let's consider some of the top prospects that play positions where the Jets will be specifically looking for reinforcements...

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Sep 16, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (42) tries to move past Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton (73) during the second half at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 47-21. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)
Sep 16, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (42) tries to move past Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton (73) during the second half at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 47-21. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)

All but two teams -- the Chiefs and 49ers -- are left to worry about their offseasons with Super Bowl LIV set for Feb. 2. While NFL free agency kicks off in March, the efforts of scouting top NFL Draft prospects will ramp up. 

The Jets have the No. 11 overall pick in this year's Draft after picking at No. 3 in 2018 and 2019. Sam Darnold and Quinnen Williams were used with those selections. 

Who will join them with the latest first round selection in GM Joe Douglas' first draft? Here's what experts believe will happen...

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Dec 31, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) moves past Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Dec 31, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) moves past Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Dez Bryant last played an NFL game in 2017 as a member of the Cowboys, before Dallas cut him prior to the 2018 season. The wide receiver signed with Saints in November of 2018, but tore his Achilles tendon in just his second practice with the team.

But he's still holding out hope that he can latch on to an NFL team in 2020, and he's got at least one big fan in Jets safety Jamal Adams.

Bryant tweeted on Monday that he'd love to return to return to the Cowboys and serve in a role similar to the one Jason Witten did with Dallas this season.

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Darrelle Revis was watching the NFC Championship game on Sunday, and though the 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl, the former Jet DB was unimpressed with what he saw from their star cornerback, Richard Sherman

The sole inhabitant of "Revis Island" criticized Sherman for sitting in zone coverage, rather than travel with Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.

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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Mike Pennel (98) reacts to a replay of a Green Bay Packers touchdown during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Mike Pennel (98) reacts to a replay of a Green Bay Packers touchdown during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

While the Jets hope their opportunity at playing in a Super Bowl is just around the corner, it won't be Super Bowl LIV. 

That game will be played between the 49ers and Chiefs after those two teams won the NFC and AFC Championship Games, respectively, on Sunday. 

When those two teams get after it in just about two weeks time, four players with connections to the Jets will feature on the two rosters. 

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Sep 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks an extra point during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks an extra point during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Rick Gosselin, a 47-year veteran of analyzing special teams releases a yearly review and ranks the 32 units across the NFL. Last year, the Jets landed as the best unit in the league, but they're still highly-touted this season.

Gosselin's system has long been a highly-respected system to grade out the league's specialists. Teams are ranked in 22 kicking-game categories and assigned points according to their standing - one for best, 32 for worst.

The Jets landed at the No. 8 overall spot in Gosselin's latest ranking for 2019 with 324 overall points. 

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Jan 18, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Team East running back Benny LeMay (32) runs the ball in for a touchdown as Team West safety Austin Lee (23) defends during the first quarter at Tropicana Field. (Douglas DeFelice/USA Today SPORTS)
Jan 18, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Team East running back Benny LeMay (32) runs the ball in for a touchdown as Team West safety Austin Lee (23) defends during the first quarter at Tropicana Field. (Douglas DeFelice/USA Today SPORTS)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two college all-star games took place over the weekend with plenty of Jets personnel reportedly on hand for a closer look at some potential 2020 draft picks -- the East-West Shrine game on Saturday afternoon with the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl kicking off later that evening.  

Of the two, the Shrine game is the higher profile event, with Folorunso Fatukasi being a recent example of someone who impressed the Jets there and went on to be drafted by them. However, the team also picked up a handful of undrafted free agents from last year's Collegiate Bowl rosters.

Let's identify some players who may draw interest from the Jets based on their performance over the weekend.

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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets appear to have an opening on their coaching staff, where they see a defensive position coach depart for a job elsewhere in the league.

Assistant defensive backs coach Steve Jackson is leaving New York to become the Cincinnati Bengals' cornerbacks coach, according to a Sunday evening report from Brian Costello of the New York Post.

The 50-year-old Jackson spent the past two years with the Jets, coming over to New York after serving as the Tennessee Titans' safeties coach from 2016-17.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in attendance during UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in attendance during UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Even as the NFL playoffs wind down with Championship Sunday setting the scene for Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, Tom Brady's highly anticipated offseason decision is already making headlines.

Since the Patriots' 2019 season ended with Jan. 4's 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card Round, New England and the 42-year-old quarterback have a major choice on the horizon.

Set to hit free agency after he completed his 20th year in the league -- all with the Patriots -- Brady's potential departure from New England could land him outside the AFC East for the 2020 campaign.

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Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs (74) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs (74) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Skimming through myriad mock drafts that have surfaced ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, many believe Jets GM Joe Douglas will be targeting a No. 1 receiver for Sam Darnold. There are a few playmakers for New York to choose from, including Alabama's Jerry Jeudy, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb, and Clemson's Tee Higgins

Having a top receiver is definitely a need for the Jets, but is that what they should be focused on with the No. 11 overall pick? What about protecting Darnold? 

While there's multiple playmakers to salivate over in the first round, there's just as many offensive linemen to bulk up that unit for the Jets. 

Tags: Brandon Shell, Jamison Crowder, Kelvin Beachum, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Legendary Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill is taking his rightful place in Canton, Ohio.

Hill, who starred with the Jets from 1963-1976, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday. 

Hill passed away in 2016 at the age of 74.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas

Joe Douglas is heading into his first offseason as the Jets GM, and he knows there is a lot on his plate. Multiple holes need to be filled, especially on the offensive line front and the secondary. 

Knowing how crucial his first offseason calling the shots is, Douglas is already on the ground getting to work. 

Douglas is at the East-West Shrine Bowl at Tropicana Field assessing some of the best college seniors the NCAA had to offer this season ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. And, according to the Pro Football Network, he has brought reinforcements with him. 

Tags: Jamison Crowder
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Adam Gase
Adam Gase

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ryan Tannehill, of all quarterbacks, secured a place in the AFC championship game on Saturday, and that has spawned a cottage industry bashing of his former coach, Adam Gase. After all, the theory goes, Tannehill finally became the quarterback everyone thought he could be as soon as Gase was no longer his coach.

It's a nice theory. And for anyone who hates Gase or thinks the Jets made a mistake by hiring him, it fits the narrative.

It just doesn't fit the facts.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (Gary Landers/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (Gary Landers/AP)

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold reportedly had surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb on Tuesday, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Darnold is not expected to miss any time as the surgery was performed by the Jets team doctors.

He originally suffered a thumb injury on Oct. 27 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, he never missed any time due to the injury. He wore a brace on his left hand under a glove for the rest of the season.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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On Thursday, former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum talked to SNY's Jonas Schwartz about the Giants new head coach Joe Judge, going over the challenges that Judge could face.

"Well I think that's really a big part of the interview process," Tannenbaum said. "I want to know what's your first 90 days like or what is it going to be like if Saquon Barkley doesn't show up on the first day of the voluntary offseason program? What's your message to him? Whats's your message to the team? What's your message to the media?"

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Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Kyle Phillips (98) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Kyle Phillips (98) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

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Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We conclude today with a look at defensive lineman Kyle Phillips, who was an undrafted free agent signed in May.

Phillips was one of three undrafted rookies to see action with the Jets this season, but he was the only one to make the opening day roster. In fact, the other two - cornerback Kyron Brown and wide receiver Jeff Smith - each played just one game before suffering a season-ending injury.

After being inactive on opening day, Phillips was active for every other game and finished the season with 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was also credited with one pass defensed.

Tags: Jachai Polite
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Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jehu Chesson (16) works out prior to the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jehu Chesson (16) works out prior to the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets have signed wide receiver Jehu Chesson to a reserve/future contract.

Chesson, 26, was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 139 pick in the fourth round in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan.

He finished his rookie season with two receptions for 18 yards in 12 games, but was waived prior to the 2018 season. The Washington Redskins signed him soon after and he bounced between their active roster and practice squad. He had one reception for seven yards in 12 games with the Redskins in 2018.

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Dec 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch against New York Jets defensive back Blessuan Austin (31) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch against New York Jets defensive back Blessuan Austin (31) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each member of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at cornerback Bless Austin, who was selected in the sixth round.

For much of the season, Austin was a forgotten man, as he was on the non-football injury list rehabbing a serious knee injury. However, he was activated in November and soon found himself in a starting role after Darryl Roberts got injured and Nate Hairston was benched. Over the next five weeks, Austin and Arthur Maulet provided the Jets with the most consistent cornerback play the team enjoyed all season and it looked like Austin was establishing himself as a potential starter for 2020 and beyond.

Tags: Trumaine Johnson
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Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Celebrity comedians Trevor Noah (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (center) and Larry David (right) watch an opening day game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Celebrity comedians Trevor Noah (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (center) and Larry David (right) watch an opening day game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

If Mike Maccagnan listened to Larry David before the 2018 NFL Draft, things would have turned out pretty, pretty, pretty good.

During an appearance Tuesday on The Michael Kay Show, the Curb Your Enthusiasm star and Seinfeld co-creator explained how he tried to make Jackson to the Jets happen.

"I did call Mike Maccagnan before the 2018 draft and I recommended that he draft Lamar Jackson," David said. "I have a witness -- yes, I have a witness."

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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) tackles New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) tackles New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

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Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue with a look at linebacker Blake Cashman, who was selected in the fifth round out of Minnesota.

Cashman took advantage of the Jets' injury issues at inside linebacker as he got the opportunity to start five games and he was productive in those games, racking up 33 tackles, three quarterback hits, a pass defended and a fumble recovery. He ended the season with 40 tackles in seven games. However, he suffered a season-ending injury in the Jacksonville game and missed the second half of the year.

When Cashman was drafted, it seemed most likely that he'd primarily be a core special-teamer and perhaps work toward getting some reps as a situational coverage linebacker. However, when Avery Williamson was lost for the year in the preseason, Cashman suddenly became the primary backup at inside linebacker and was thrust into a full-time role due to CJ Mosley's opening day injury.

Tags: Blake Cashman
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Jets general manager Joe Douglas previously said he wouldn't hang up if and when trade calls come in on either running back Le'Veon Bell or safety Jamal Adams.

Speculation has surrounded both players since early in the 2019 season. 

Listening to trade calls still be true, but the GM changed his tune a bit on Monday. Douglas praised both Adams and Bell instead of discussing those potential calls. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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